A (non-comprehensive) list of interesting and relevant climate change, climate policy, and environmental justice stories.   

World will look back at 2023 as year humanity exposed its inability to tackle climate crisis, scientists say. Disastrous events included flash flooding in Africa and wildfires in Europe and North America (read the full story here)

New breed of climate protesters vows to take fight to ‘cowards’ of US politics. Climate Defiance, trying to make the climate crisis a top issue in 2024 election, isn’t afraid to anger ‘cowards’ and ‘criminals.’ (read the full story here)

Dying in the Fields as Temperatures Soar. Scores of California farmworkers are dying in the heat in regions with chronically bad air, even in a state with one of the toughest heat standards in the nation. (read the full story here)

‘Major’ Problem in Texas: How Big Polluters Evade Federal Law and Get Away With It. Industrial developers describe facilities as “minor” polluters to avoid federal permitting requirements, and environmental lawyers say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets it happen. (read the full story here)

Some of Australia’s strategically important coral islands at great risk of vanishing, study finds. Fate of more than a dozen islands ‘hangs in the balance’ because of climate crisis, with vexed questions about maritime jurisdiction. (read the full story here)

This Antarctic Octopus Has a Warning About Rising Sea Levels. A huge ice sheet appears to have melted about 120,000 years ago, when temperatures were similar to those on Earth today, according to a DNA study that mapped octopus movements. (read the full story here)

Climate change migration: Where people are moving to escape wildfires, extreme flooding, and record heat. (read the full story here)

The link between climate change and a spate of rare disease outbreaks in 2023. The temperature-sensitive pathogens that caught U.S. communities off guard are a grim preview of the future. (read the full story here)

2023 wins and trends in state energy and climate policy. In 2023 we saw historic state-level progress in clean energy deployment and new climate policies, and 2024 promises to be another banner year. We haven’t a moment to lose. Countries are vigorously competing for clean energy jobs in a globally competitive marketplace, and the sobering threat of climate change is urgently undeniable. Rhodium Group’s 2023 Global Outlook finds it very likely that the average global temperature increase will be 2º- 4º Celsius by 2100. Though an improvement over earlier projections, this would exceed the international commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increases to well below 2ºC and blow past current understanding of the need to limit global warming to 1.5ºC.  (read the full story here)

Year in review: Climate change and flooding hit home in California. California was deluged with storms and floods at the beginning of 2023, bringing home the severity of impacts from climate change, particularly in the low-income communities of Planada in Merced County and Pajaro in Monterey County. (read the full story here)

More Maine towns are getting serious about planning for climate change. a small but growing number of other Maine communities are also working on their own local climate action plans. Most of those communities, if not all, are located along the coast, where sea levels have risen eight inches since 1950 and are expected to rise 1.5 more feet by 2050. With sea level rise comes a variety of local threats, including saltwater flooding, beach erosion and groundwater contamination. (read the full story here)

How Mass. aims to protect its coasts from effects of climate change. Proposed wetlands regulations would create “performance standards,” or requirements, for homeowners and developers to protect the natural buffering function of wetlands and floodplains, and MassDEP would create a new type of credit for “Green Site Design.” (read the full story here)